10 Most Significant Publications: 2019-2021

The Energy Transition

  1. Paper
    Title: An Energy-Maximising Linear Time-Invariant Controller (LiTe-Con) for Wave
    Energy Devices
    Authors: Garcia-Violini*, D., Pena-Sanchez, Y.*, Faedo, N.* and Ringwood, J.V.*
    Journal: IEEE Transactions on Sust. Energy, Vol.11, No.4, 2020 [Impact Factor: 7.44]

    This paper develops a new methodology for energy-maximising control of wave
    energy converters. It combines computation simplicity with broadband capability,
    covering devices operating in real irregular waves. Optimisation of the system
    frequency response is achieved right across the wave spectrum whereas, previously,
    complex conjugate controllers could only achieve optimal behaviour at a single
    characteristic frequency. Crucially, the method also acknowledges real power take off constraints, retaining safe behaviour across all operating conditions.

  2. Paper 
    Title: A Copper Silicide Nanofoam Current Collector for Directly Grown Si Nanowire
    Networks and their Application as Lithium-Ion Anodes
    Authors: Aminu, I.S., Geaney, H., Imtiaz, S.….Collins, G.A., Ryan, K.M*
    Journal: Advanced Functional Materials (2020) [Impact Factor: 16.84

    This paper addresses a route to dramatically increase the areal loading of silicon
    nanowires in Lithium-ion batteries by forming a porous current collector of copper
    silicide and using this as a substrate for wire growth. As silicon has capacities ten times
    that of graphite, integration of silicon into lithium-ion cells will dramatically improve
    performance. The low areal loading of nanowires, which was previously a significant
    bottle-neck, is addressed through this work.

  3. Paper 
    Title: Improving Gaseous Biofuel Yield from Seaweed through a Cascading Circular
    Bioenergy System Integrating Anaerobic Digestion and Pyrolysis
    Authors: Deng, C.*, Lin, R.*, Kang, X.*, Wu, B.*, O’Shea, R.*, Murphy, J.D.*
    Journal: Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews [Impact Factor: 12.11]

    This paper presents an integrated narrative on seaweed biofuel and direct
    interspecies electron transfer for the first time, proposing a cascading circular
    bioenergy system. The feasibility of the proposed system was demonstrated by
    integrating a seaweed-based AD and a residue-based pyrolysis system. This showed
    that biochar achieved comparable performances to high-cost graphene in enhancing
    biomethane production from seaweed. Optimal biochar increased biomethane yield
    by 17% and peak production rate by 29% with common kelp, and biomethane yield
    increased by 16% with sugar kelp. Analysis indicated that optimal process integration
    could facilitate combustion of syngas and surplus biochar to fulfil heat demand for
    the system, increase biomethane yield by 17%, bio-oil yield by 10%, and reduce the
    mass flow of digestate by 26%, thereby reducing agricultural land-take for application.

  4. Paper 
    Title: Public Acceptance of Renewable Electricity Generation and Transmission
    Network Developments: Insights from Ireland
    Authors: M.T. Koecklin, G. Longoria, D.Z. Fitiwi, J.F. DeCarolis, J. Curtis*
    Journal: Energy Policy, Volume 151 (2021) [Impact Factor: 5.04]

    This paper analyses the effects of attitudes towards onshore wind power and
    overhead transmission lines on development of electricity generation mixes under a
    high RE policy. A power-systems planning model is used, combined with a novel
    modelling constraint on public acceptance. Least-cost solutions increase by as much
    as 33% compared to a base case where public acceptance of energy infrastructure is
    excluded. In the most extreme public acceptance scenario, the greatest share of
    additional costs (>80%) is related to lost load, while additional investment and
    operational costs associated with public acceptance constraints for new energy
    infrastructure are between 5–6% of base case costs. The results highlight the
    challenge for power systems relative to public preference for new infrastructure.

  5. Paper 
    Title: Strengthening the EU Response to Energy Poverty
    Authors: Audrey Dobbins, Francesco Fuso Nerini, Paul Deane*, Steve Pye*
    Journal: Nature Energy Volume 4, Pages 2–5 (2019) [Impact Factor: 54.0]

    The extent of energy poverty in the EU is described, demonstrating how policymakers
    can strengthen their response. It reveals that energy poverty was not recognized in
    legislation until 2009, and that responses have been inadequate and fragmented. It
    proposes four key actions: firstly prescriptive measures, encompassing financial
    support, disconnection safeguards, consumer engagement, and efficiency; secondly,
    an energy poverty definition to develop a common basis for action; thirdly, gathering
    of additional data, including detail on building stock related income and energy
    consumption and higher resolution on affordability; finally, strategic coordination
    across social, consumer and energy policy, given its multidimensional nature.

Climate Action

  1. Paper 
    Title: A generalisable bottom-up methodology for deriving a residential stock model
    from large empirical databases”
    Authors: Ciara Ahern*, Brian Norton*
    Journal: Energy and Buildings, Volume 215, 2020 [Impact Factor: 4.87]

    Reference dwellings representing a predominant housing typology are defined in this
    work. The use of inappropriate default-values for the building envelope thermal
    transmittance coefficients (U-values) and standardised thermal bridging
    transmittance coefficients (Y-values) in the production of Energy Performance
    Certificates (EPCs) leads to an over-estimation of energy savings in existing dwellings.
    A methodology is presented for simplified default-free inputs to a bottom-up
    residential cost-optimality energy consumption model from an EPC dataset. Use of
    reference dwellings enables quantification of (i) energy saving potential of a
    predominant housing typology, (ii) effect of default U-value and standardised Y-value
    use on the prebound effect (iii) overall national building energy consumption.

  2. Paper 
    Title: Wintertime Aerosol Dominated by Solid-Fuel-Burning Emissions across Ireland:
    Insight into the Spatial and Chemical Variation in Submicron Aerosol
    Authors: Lin, C., Ceburnis, D., Huang, R., Xu, W., Spohn, T., Martin, D., Buckley, P.,
    Wenger, J., Hellebust, S., Rinaldi, M., Facchini, M., O’Dowd, C.*, and Ovadnevaite, J.*
    Journal: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 19, 14091-14106 [Impact Factor: 5.7]

    To gain insight into the spatial and chemical variation in submicron aerosol, a
    nationwide characterization of wintertime PM1 was performed using an aerosol
    chemical speciation monitor (ACSM) and aethalometer at four sites. This source
    apportionment study highlights the large contribution of residential solid fuel burning
    to urban air pollution and identifies sources for air quality improvements. It also
    shows that rural and coastal areas are dominated by secondary aerosol from regional
    transport, which is difficult to tackle. Detailed characterization of spatial and chemical
    variations in submicron aerosol in this region has significant implications for air
    quality policies and mitigation, as well as for regional-transport aerosol modelling.

The Blue Economy

  1. Paper
    Title: A return to the tragedy of the commons? Brexit trade-offs and spatial analysis,
    an Irish perspective
    Authors: O’Higgins, T.* and O’Hagan, A.M.*
    Journal: Marine Policy, 106 [Impact Factor: 2.9]

    Fisheries have been prominent and emotive in the debate over Brexit. Consequently,
    reliable and impartial information are hard to obtain. We examined the spatial
    distribution of fishing for two of the most lucrative fisheries in the waters around
    Ireland, those for Dublin Bay Prawn (Nephrops norvegicus) in the Irish Sea and
    Mackerel (Scomber scombrus) off the west coast of Ireland to understand flows of
    benefits from Irish waters to the UK, and vice versa. Considerable flows exist in both
    directions, but overall net flows of benefits for these fisheries was between €1.2m-
    €1.8m. Whilst these may be locally significant, they make up a tiny fraction of overall
    food and drink exports from Ireland to the UK (€4.4bn). We argue that continued
    transboundary management is essential for protecting these vital resources

  2. Paper 
    Title: Large Nearshore Storm Waves off the Irish Coast
    Authors: Fedele, F., Herterich, J., Tayfun, A., Dias, F.*
    Journal: Scientific Reports, 9 [Impact Factor: 4.0]

    This paper presents a statistical analysis of nearshore waves observed during two
    major North–East Atlantic storms in 2015 and 2017. Surface elevations were
    measured with a 5-beam acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) at relatively
    shallow waters off the west coast of Ireland. To compensate for the significant
    variability of both sea states in time, we consider a novel approach for non-stationary
    surface-elevation series and compare distributions of crest and wave heights
    observed with theoretical predictions. We show that they also describe well the
    characteristics of waves observed in shallow waters. Our analysis reveals that
    modulational instabilities are ineffective, third-order resonances negligible and the
    largest waves observed have characteristics similar to those displayed by rogue waves

  3. Paper 
    Title: Assessing the Effectiveness of Foraging Radius Models for Seabird Distributions
    using Biotelemetry and Survey Data
    Authors: E. J. Critchley*, W. J. Grecian, A. Bennison*, A. Kane, S. Wischnewski, A.
    Cañadas, D. Tierney, J. L. Quinn, M. J. Jessopp*
    Journal: Ecography, 43: 184-196 [Impact Factor: 6.46]

    Determining the impacts of offshore development requires an understanding of the
    distribution of sensitive marine species. However extensive surveys and biotelemetry
    approaches are expensive and logistically difficult. This paper is significant as it
    explicitly tests the correlation between aerial surveys, GPS animal tracking studies,
    and desk-based methods of predicting at-sea distribution of seabirds, a group of high
    conservation concern experiencing global declines. The simple method correlated
    reasonably well with aerial surveys and seabird tracking studies, making it a useful
    approach for assessing breeding distributions for seabird species. This paper will be
    of significant use to industry in identifying areas of concern prior to undertaking
    expensive baseline surveys and enabling better siting decisions and mitigation